The Goat (羊) is the eighth of the 12-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac in relation to the Chinese calendar. The sign is referred to as the ram and sheep, because that Chinese word is correctly translated as Caprinae, a taxonomic subfamily that includes goats and sheep. The Year of the Goat is associated with the 8th symbol of the Earthly Branch.
The Chinese word refers to goats and sheep, while the words shānyáng (山 羊) and miányáng (绵 羊; 綿 羊) refer exclusively to goats and sheep. In English, the sign can be called either. The sheep In Japan on the other hand, the sign is hitsuji, while in Korea and Mongolia, the sign is ram and sheep. Within China, there may be regional differences with the zodiac being more likely to be thought of as a goat in the south, while tending is thought of as a sheep in the north.
Characteristics The Chinese generally regard sheep as an auspicious animal and therefore herald a year of promise and prosperity. "Yáng" (羊) is a part of another written Chinese word "xiang" (祥), which means auspiciousness, and the two were interchangeable in ancient Chinese, according to one source. It is part of the character "shan" (善), which counts goodness and kindness among its meanings.